It’s easy to see why the High Line has quickly become one of Manhattan’s biggest tourist draws.
An old elevated train line magically transformed into a public park—what’s not to like?
Winding along the far west side, snaking through neighborhoods in various stages of re-gentrification, it offers an unprecedented aerial view of everything from warehouses and centuries-old corner bars to shiny new art galleries and Frank-Gehry-on-steroids apartment buildings.
Where else can you walk under the hip-and-happening Standard Hotel, then over a fledgling Japanese garden visible through the grates of a metal flyover? Sip iced latte on a (surprisingly comfortable) wooden chaise lounge? Or enjoy an Italian ice as you stroll, block after block, through an ever-changing botanical wonderland in the sky?
On Monday, at dusk, I found myself entering the High Line's recently-opened Section 2 via the stairway at 18th & 10th. The designers have worked miracles, incorporating the actual rails into the walkways and flowerbeds in ways so inventive they literally stop you in your tracks. Their achievement appears even more fantastic when juxtaposed against a still-to-be-converted section of the tracks near 30th Street.
It was breathtaking and, in many ways, even more enchanting in the dark than in the bright light of day. Here’s my paltry attempt to capture the magic...